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fifa corruption

Spanish Football Federation President Angel Maria Villar Llona and his son have been held as part of a corruption investigation, police in Spain say.

Angel María Villar Llona, a former soccer player, was arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds, El Pais and Efe news agency reported.

He has been president of the association since 1988.

His son, Gorka Villar, was among a number of other people also arrested during a number of raids on July 18.

Spain’s High Court told Reuters that one of its investigating magistrates and anti-corruption prosecutors were leading the probe.

Spanish media report that the allegations centre on the falsification of documents and skimming profits from international soccer matches.

Image source Wikimedia

There has been no comment yet from Angel María Villar, 67, or his lawyers.

In his time as president of the federation, Spain’s men’s soccer team has won two European championships as well as the 2010 World Cup, becoming one of soccer’s dominant forces.

Angel María Villar has also served on the council of soccer’s world governing body FIFA for the past 29 years, but was reprimanded by FIFA for failing to comply with its internal inquiry into the 2018/22 World Cup bidding process.

He was acting president of UEFA, Europe’s soccer association, while its chief Michel Platini was under investigation. He lost out on the presidency in an election last year.

UEFA and FIFA said they were aware of the reports.

Gorka Villar served as the director-general of the South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL before standing down last year.

Before standing down, Gorka Villar had been accused of extortion by a number of Uruguayan soccer clubs.

German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer and three others are being investigated by Swiss prosecutors over Germany’s bid for the 2006 World Cup.

As members of that cup’s organizing committee, they are suspected of fraud, criminal mismanagement, money laundering and misappropriation, prosecutors say.

Some of the alleged crimes were carried out on Swiss territory.

Franz Beckenbauer, who headed the bid, has previously denied corruption.

FIFA has banned Franz Beckenbauer from all its activities for failing to co-operate with its inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process

FIFA has banned Franz Beckenbauer from all its activities for failing to co-operate with its inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process

In October 2015, he said he had made a “mistake” in the bidding process to host the competition in 2000 but denied votes had been bought.

In March 2016, soccer’s world governing body FIFA began looking into six men for their part in Germany winning the rights to host the 2006 cup.

Premises were searched in eight undisclosed locations on September 1 with the co-operation of the Austrian and German authorities, the prosecutors said.

Franz Beckenbauer’s home in Austria was among the properties searched, according to the AP.

Several suspects were also questioned, the prosecutors added.

Germany beat South Africa 12-11 in the World Cup vote, which took place in July 2000.

The Swiss investigation centers on the use of 7 million euros ($7.8 million), later reduced to 6.7 million euros, earmarked for a gala event.

In a statement, Swiss prosecutors said: “It is suspected that the suspects knew that this sum was not being used to fund the gala event, but instead to repay a debt that was not owed by the DFB.

“In particular, it is suspected that the suspects willfully misled their fellow members of the executive board of the organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup.

“This was presumably done by the use of false pretences or concealment of the truth, thus inducing the other committee members to act in a manner that caused DFB a financial loss.”

No further details were given.

Earlier today, Germany’s Spiegel magazine reported the investigation centered on payments made from 2002 to 2005.

In October 2015, Franz Beckenbauer said he did not give “money to anyone in order to buy votes”.

However, in a statement, he said: “In order to get a subsidy from FIFA [for the organization of the 2006 World Cup] those involved went ahead with a proposal from the FIFA finance commission that in today’s eyes should have been rejected.

“I, as president of the then-organizing committee, bear the responsibility of this mistake.”

Swiss prosecutors named four suspects on September 1:

  • Franz Beckenbauer: Former vice-president of the German Football Association (DFB), president of the 2006 World Cup local organizing committee (LOC) and former member of the FIFA executive committee
  • Wolfgang Niersbach: Former president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and current member of the FIFA and UEFA executive committees
  • Theo Zwanziger: Former president of the DFB, vice-president of the LOC and former member of the FIFA and UEFA executive committees
  • Horst Rudolf Schmidt: Former secretary-general of the DFB and vice-president of the LOC


Michel Platini has failed in his bid to have his 90-day provisional suspension from soccer lifted.

UEFA president’s request was denied by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on December 11, which means Michel Platini will not be allowed to attend the Euro 2016 finals draw in Paris on December 12.

Michel Platini, 60, was suspended along with FIFA President Sepp Blatter in October while corruption claims are investigated.

Both deny any wrongdoing.Michel Platini FIFA suspension

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter will have personal hearings with FIFA’s ethics committee next week, following allegations that a 2 million euro payment was made in 2011 for work Platini did as Blatter’s adviser.

A verdict is expected on December 21.

Ethics investigators for football’s world governing body, who handed down the initial 90-day suspension, have recommended a life ban for Michel Platini.

Sepp Blatter has announced he will stand down from his post, and FIFA’s next president will be chosen at a special congress on February 26, 2016.

Michel Platini is one of the favorites to replace Sepp Blatter and still plans to stand.


Swiss banks have reported suspicions of money laundering by soccer’s governing body FIFA.

Local prosecutors are investigating 53 cases of possible money laundering in their inquiry into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber said the incidents had been reported by Swiss banks.

He said his office was analyzing a “huge amount” of seized FIFA data in its inquiry.

The Swiss investigation is running in parallel to one being carried out by the US.

The 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively. But leading FIFA official Domenico Scala has said the awards could be cancelled if evidence emerges of bribery.

Russia and Qatar deny any wrongdoing.

FIFA is facing claims of widespread corruption after Swiss police raided a hotel in Zurich – where the soccer’s governing body is based – and arrested seven of its top executives last month.Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber FIFA probe news conference

The seven were held at the request of the US DoJ which has charged 14 current and former FIFA officials and associates on charges of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption.

The charges follow a three-year inquiry by the FBI.

Also in May, Swiss prosecutors opened separate criminal proceedings “against persons unknown on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money laundering” in connection with the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

However, until now, much less has been revealed about the Swiss investigation than the inquiry being led by the FBI.

Michael Lauber told a news conference that the investigation was “huge and complex on many levels” and would take a long time.

“We note positively that banks in Switzerland did fulfill their duties to file suspicious activity reports. Partly in addition to 104 banking relations already known to the authorities, banks announced 53 suspicious banking relations via the anti-money-laundering framework of Switzerland,” he said.

Michael Lauber said he did not rule out interviews with FIFA president Sepp Blatter as part of his investigation.

Sepp Blatter has denied any wrongdoing and announced earlier this month that he will resign.

The attorney said his investigation was separate from that being carried out by the FBI and that documents and data would not be shared automatically with the US.

Michael Lauber added: “The world of football needs to be patient. By its nature, this investigation will take more than the legendary 90 minutes.”


Interpol has suspended its 10-year partnership with FIFA over allegations of corruption against the soccer’s governing body.

The international police agency had a €20 million anti-match-fixing program with the soccer’s governing body.

Interpol is now freezing the money donated by FIFA in 2011 for the program.

The “Integrity in Sport” agreement was intended to combat match-fixing and illegal gambling.Interpol suspends FIFA partnership

FIFA is under investigation by authorities in the US and Switzerland for alleged bribery and corruption.

Jurgen Stock, the head of Interpol, said in a statement: “In light of the current context surrounding FIFA, while Interpol is still committed to developing our Integrity in Sport program, I have decided to suspend the agreement.

“All external partners, whether public or private, must share the fundamental values and principles of the organization, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community.”

The agreement between Interpol and FIFA stated that the soccer body must be “compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol”.

Last month, 14 current and former FIFA officials and sports marketing executives were charged over allegations of corruption and bribery following a years-long US-led investigation into the organization.

The scandal has raised questions over the legitimacy of the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.


The 2026 World Cup bidding process has been delayed amid corruption allegations around the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

According to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, it was “a nonsense” to begin the process in the current climate.

The vote to decide who will host the 2026 World Cup is due to take place in Kuala Lumpur in May 2017.

The US is front-runner to stage the tournament, but Canada, Mexico and Colombia are also thought to be interested.

Russia and Qatar were selected to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups by a secret ballot of FIFA’s 22 executive members in December 2010.FIFA World Cup 2026 bidding suspended

Meanwhile Swiss prosecutors are investigating alleged financial irregularities surrounding the bidding process. Both Russia and Qatar have denied any wrongdoing.

Soccer’s world governing body had planned to inform its member federations this week of the bidding schedule for 2026, but Jerome Valcke said: “Due to the situation, I think it’s nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being.”

Speaking in the Russian city of Samara, Jerome Valcke also defended FIFA’s handling of a $10 million payment from the South African government towards a Caribbean Diaspora legacy program.

US prosecutors allege the payment was a bribe to help secure the 2010 World Cup for South Africa.

The South African government insists it was a legitimate payment to promote Caribbean football.

Jerome Valcke said: “It was not FIFA’s money. It was a request from official South African authorities and the South African Football Association (SAFA). As long as it is in line with rules we do it.

“I don’t understand what’s the problem and why I am such a target in this question.”

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has announced he will step down from his role, amid the ongoing allegations of corruption in the governing body, including the indictment of 14 people on corruption charges by US authorities.

Sepp Blatter is expected to be replaced at an election on December 16.

When faced with questions over his own future, Jerome Valcke said: “You – the media – have decided that after Blatter I am the head to be cut, fine, but don’t say it is because of this $10 million.”


FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s 17-year reign at the soccer’s governing body could come to an end on December 16, 2015.

Representatives from all 209 member associations will be invited to Zurich to vote in a new presidential election.

Sepp Blatter, 79, resigned as FIFA’s president just four days after being re-elected last month.FIFA President Sepp Blatter 2015

The Swiss tended his resignation amid two corruption probes of his organization.

Seven FIFA officials were arrested on May 27 following a dawn raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich.

They were among 14 officials and associates indicted by US authorities on racketeering and bribery charges.

Swiss prosecutors have also begun a criminal investigation into how the rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded.

There is a long list of potential successors for Sepp Blatter.

Among the possible candidates is Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who lost out to Sepp Blatter in last month’s election.


Alejandro Burzaco, who is wanted by the US in connection with the investigation into allegations of corruption at soccer’s governing body FIFA, has turned himself in to police in Italy.

The Argentine was the president of Argentine sports marketing firm Torneos y Competencias and one of 14 current and ex-FIFA officials and associates indicted over the scandal.

Interpol had issued an alert requesting Alejandro Burzaco’s arrest.

Alejandro Burzaco disappeared following the arrest of seven FIFA executives on May 27.Alejandro Burzaco arrested in Italy

Swiss media reported that Alejandro Burzaco was not in his room when police acting on extradition requests from US authorities raided a hotel in the Swiss city of Zurich, but was having breakfast and so was not arrested.

Alejandro Burzaco, who also has Italian citizenship, walked into a police station in the northern Italian city of Borzano along with his two lawyers on June 9.

He is being held in a cell in Borzano police station, officials told Spanish news agency EFE.

The DoJ alleges that Alejandro Burzaco conspired to win and keep hold of lucrative media rights contracts from regional football federations by paying up to $110 million in bribes.

An Argentine judge ordered Alejandro Burzaco’s arrest after he was named in the US indictment for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

Judge Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi warned Alejandro Burzaco and two more indicted Argentine sports executives, Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, that they would be considered fugitives if they did not turn themselves in.

The whereabouts of father and son Hugo and Mariano Jinkis is currently unknown.

Interpol issued “red notices” for their arrest, along with Alejandro Burzaco and three others, on June 1.

Alejandro Burzaco was dismissed from Torneos y Competencias on June 3.

Torneos y Competencias has denied any involvement in the alleged bribery.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is being investigated by US officials as part of their inquiry into corruption at the soccer governing body, US media say.

The news came hours after Sepp Blatter announced that he was stepping down from his role.

US prosecutors launched a criminal inquiry last week, with seven FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland, part of a group of 14 people indicted.

Two days after the arrests, Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of FIFA.

However, Sepp Blatter said on June 2 that it appeared the mandate he had been given “does not seem to be supported by everyone in the world”.

Sepp Blatter said: “FIFA needs profound restructuring.”

According to the New York Times, US officials said they hoped to gain the co-operation of some of the FIFA figures now under indictment on charges of racketeering and money laundering to try to build a case against Sepp Blatter.Sepp Blatter investigated in US

Earlier the FBI, IRS and the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, who is involved in the US prosecutions, all said they would not comment on the Blatter resignation.

In its prosecution, the US justice department said 14 individuals were under investigation worldwide for allegedly accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150 million over a 24-year period.

Two vice-presidents were among the seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich. They all await US extradition proceedings.

The arrests overshadowed the vote for a new president, which Sepp Blatter won, defeating his sole challenger, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan.

Prince Ali withdrew despite forcing a second round, having lost the first by 133 votes to 73.

Announcing his exit on June 2, Sepp Blatter, 79, called an extraordinary FIFA congress “as soon as possible” to elect a new president.

Sepp Blatter, who has been FIFA president since 1998, said: “The next ordinary FIFA congress will take place on May 13, 2016 in Mexico City.

“This would create unnecessary delay and I will urge the executive committee to organize an extraordinary congress for the election of my successor at the earliest opportunity.

“This will need to be done in line with FIFA’s statutes and we must allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign.”

The extraordinary congress is expected to take place between December 2015 and March 2016.

Further allegations of corruption emerged on June 2 with claims that Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke was linked to an alleged $10 million payment of bribes over South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup. He denies any wrongdoing.

FIF is facing new allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The Sunday Times has obtained millions of secret documents – emails, letters and bank transfers – which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totaling $5 million to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.

Qatar 2022 and Mohamed Bin Hammam have always strenuously denied the former FIFA vice-president actively lobbied on their behalf in the run-up to the vote in December 2010.

But, according to emails obtained by the Sunday Times, it is now clear that Mohamed Bin Hammam, 65, was lobbying on Qatar’s behalf at least a year before the decision.

The documents also show how Mohamed Bin Hammam was making payments direct to football officials in Africa to allegedly buy their support for Qatar in the contest.

Qatar strongly denies any wrongdoing and insists that Mohamed Bin Hammam never had any official role supporting the bid and always acted independently from the Qatar 2022 campaign.

Mohamed Bin Hammam allegedly made payments totaling $5 million to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid

Mohamed Bin Hammam allegedly made payments totaling $5 million to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid

When approached by the Sunday Times to respond to their claims, Mohamed Bin Hammam’s son Hamad Al Abdulla declined to comment on his behalf.

Although the vast majority of the officials did not have a vote, the Sunday Times alleges Mohamed Bin Hammam’s strategy was to win a groundswell of support for the Qatari bid which would then influence the four African FIFA executive committee members who were able to take part in the election.

The Sunday Times also alleges that it has documents which prove Mohamed Bin Hammam paid 305,000 Euros ($410,000) to cover the legal expenses of another former FIFA executive committee member from Oceania, Reynald Temarii.

Reynald Temarii, from Tahiti, was unable to vote in the contest as he had already been suspended by FIFA after he was caught out by a Sunday Times sting asking bogus American bid officials for money in return for his support.

But the paper now alleges that Mohamed Bin Hammam provided him with financial assistance to allow him to appeal against the FIFA suspension, delaying his removal from the executive committee and blocking his deputy David Chung from voting in the 2022 election.

The publication claims that had David Chung been allowed to vote he would have supported Qatar’s rivals Australia. Instead there was no representative from Oceania allowed to vote, a decision which may have influenced the outcome in Qatar’s favor.

The paper also makes fresh allegations about the relationship between Mohamed Bin Hammam and his disgraced FIFA ally Jack Warner, from Trinidad.

Although Jack Warner was forced to resign as a FIFA vice-president in 2011, after it was proved he helped Mohamed Bin Hammam bribe Caribbean football officials in return for their support in his bid to oust the long-standing FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the paper says it has evidence which shows more than $1.6 million was paid by Bin Hammam to Warner, including $450,000 in the period before the vote.

The new allegations will place FIFA under fresh pressure to re-run the vote for the 2022 World Cup, which was held in conjunction with the vote for the 2018 tournament.

FIFA’s chief investigator Michael Garcia is already conducting a long-running inquiry into allegations of corruption and wrongdoing during the 2018/22 decisions. He is due to meet senior officials from the Qatar 2022 organizing committee in Oman on Monday.

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